Why is a Tap Tap so important?

Written by guest blogger, Crummer MBA student and recent Haiti traveler, Jasmine Stone

Visiting Haiti and the deux mains factory definitely opened my eyes to a different way of life.  REBUILD globally and deux mains are changing lives in Haiti through education, job training and employment.  When the Dominican Republic (DR) began deporting massive numbers of Haitians in 2015, people many who had lived in the DR for generations were forcibly removed to deportation camps on the Haiti border.  Some were picked up off the streets without being able to return home for their belongings or even their children.  This caused another crisis in Haiti – leaving thousands without their family, belongings or any way to financially support themselves.  The refugee camp in the town of Fonds Bayard houses many people that were deported and are unable to find a job.  Through the help of REBUILD globally, 12 people with refugee status were provided job training for 9 months.  REBUILD globally not only helped these folks secure their citizenship papers, but upon graduation, they were guaranteed a fulltime, living wage job at deux mains.

The greatest challenge with working at deux mains is that it is approximately a 3-hour drive to the deux mains factory in Port-au-Prince.  In reality, the drive is only about 25 miles, but using public transportation, and with the terrible traffic and lack of infrastructure, this makes for a long and treacherous commute for the people of Fonds Bayard.  When we were visiting Haiti, we saw what the traffic is like.  If the team left work at 3:30, sometimes they did not arrive back home until about 7:30pm.   Traffic in Haiti is like nothing I had ever seen before.  Going 5 miles could take up to an hour on the busy streets of Port-au-Prince. Imagine making the commute home after working an entire work day, just to sit in traffic for 2-3 hours?   There had to be a better way.  So, the team at REBUILD globally decided to work to make this commute every day, a little more bearable.

Purchasing their own Tap Tap is a great investment as it will provide non-stop transportation for these employees to make this trip every day.  Tap Taps are one of the main modes of transportation in Haiti, that serve as large taxis, designed to transport a lot of people at once.  With the Tap Tap investment, a professional driver will be on call every day to transport the team back and forth from Fonds Bayard to Port-au-Prince.  The Tap Tap will help employees save money, time and energy.  I now understand the complexities of job training and transition into the workforce and all of the challenges that surround it.  I am grateful the team at REBUILD globally fought to bridge this gap for the people of Fond Bayards.